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Posts Tagged ‘poor customer service’

  1. Thanks, O2, for being deliberately vague and annoying

    April 5, 2013 by superlative

    A couple of weeks ago I realised that I suddenly had no mobile reception at home. I live in a basement flat, so reception can always be a little bit patchy, but this was different – there was absolutely none at all.

    I’m currently a giffgaff customer, which means that I use the O2 network but I pay my money to giffgaff. I’ve been pleased with giffgaff overall – after a few problems getting my number ported over to them, my service has been very good and they’re very cheap. I don’t blame giffgaff for my coverage problems, as they don’t maintain the infrastructure; that side of it is up to O2.

    I rooted around a bit online and found the O2 webpage where you can check if there are any problems in your area, and sure enough it told me ‘We’re currently working on a mast in your area’. So I stuck with it for a bit, but after a couple of days there was no improvement and I started to get huffy.

    I asked the O2 Twitter account if they had any information, and they requested that I send them my postcode so they could check. When they came back to me they said ‘We’ve upgraded nearby sites to increase signal and we’re putting long-term steps in place to restore service.’ Oh right, I thought, they’re doing some upgrade work, and once they’ve finished I’ll be back to normal, possibly with better coverage than before, because it’s been upgraded.

    Except I won’t be because it hasn’t. I found out yesterday that what’s actually happened is my nearest O2 mast on top of the Royal Sussex County Hospital has been decommissioned to make way for a new helipad they’re building there. O2 hasn’t been successful in getting planning permission to build a replacement mast nearby, so all they have been able to do is boost the capacity at their other nearby masts to try to compensate for the big hole that’s been poked in their network coverage.

    So when they said ‘We’ve upgraded nearby sites to increase signal and we’re putting long-term steps in place to restore service’, they weren’t lying, but what they¬†actually¬†meant was ‘We’ve decommissioned a mast; we’ve tried to compensate from other masts (but that obviously isn’t doing very much, as loads of people in Kemp Town now have no network); and we’re looking into a replacement but have no idea what or where that will be, or how long it will take to get planning permission for it’.

    So that’s a bit shit really. They skirted round what the real explanation was, and have left anyone who asked them hanging on thinking that their network coverage would be restored within a few days. I can’t see them being able to sort this out in anything less than a few weeks, and it may even be months. So what are people meant to do in the meantime? A mobile phone really does depend on having a network connection, otherwise it just becomes a very small tablet computer that magically transforms into a phone once you get the bus to a different part of town.

    I’m quite annoyed with them, because they were deliberately vague to try to delay any loss of customers. When I asked them about their lack of clarity, they replied ‘unfortunately we didn’t have this information [about the mast being decommissioned] at the time’. Oh REALLY? It wasn’t struck by lightning. It was dismantled, and it belongs to you. You must have known that was going to happen, and you must have known you had no location for a replacement mast. Did you tell anyone? Your own customers, or giffgaff so they could tell their customers? No. You switched it off, waited for people to start complaining, and then fudged a response.

    I think that’s very poor. If a service you provide is going to be significantly disrupted and you know about it in advance, the least you can do is tell people. It’s just treating your customers with respect. But they haven’t done that, and now I’m most likely going to have to leave a network I was otherwise happy with and transfer back to Orange (/T-Mobile/EE/can you PLEASE just pick a fucking name and use it?).

    Poor show, O2. Very poor.


  2. Feeling ill and general rubbishness

    February 13, 2009 by superlative

    Yes I’m ill again, only a couple of months after I was ill the last time. This time it’s a horrible sore throat that I’ve had since Tuesday evening. I was off work yesterday with it and am off again today, even though I hoped it would probably be on its way out by now. It’s probably the worst sore throat I’ve had, normally I just get colds and feel bunged up and feverish. It feels like I’ve been eating razorblades, and sometimes it’s really hard to swallow. Oddly, it feels better when I’m eating (although not chocolate, ouch).

    I went to Boots just now and experienced my first of two examples of really rubbish customer service. I thought I’d go to an actual pharmacy so I could get something for my throat that’s a bit stronger than an off-the-shelf thing like Strepsils which don’t seem to be doing anything. So I went in and asked if they had anything for sore throats, to which a bored looking woman called Marianne gestured vaguely at the shelf behind her and said “we’ve got these, some are sprays and some are lozenges”.

    “Oh right…”, I said. “Are any better than others, or for different types of sore throat?”

    “These ones are sprays, throat sprays, and these ones are lozenges that you suck”, replied Marianne.

    Well thank you for that Marianne, I’m not sure I’d have known what to do with a lozenge if you hadn’t explained it to me. So I had to just say “well that one’s cherry flavoured, I’ll have that one” and leave feeling rather dissatisfied. Normally I’ve found pharmacy assistants really helpful and they’ve said which brand they think is best, or asked some questions about your symptoms. Apparently Marianne attended the Halfarsed School of Pharmacy though and doesn’t go in for all that.

    My second example of rubbish customer service is courtesy of Orange, to whom I’ve been complaining regarding my Mum’s email. Basically (I won’t bore with details), sometimes she can send mail and sometimes she can’t because the SMTP server refuses the connection or is down, and it can last more than a day before it comes back up again.

    I’ve complained to them before about this, and generally they fob you off with a copy-pasted answer on checking your Outlook settings, and then eventually they say there’s been a local issue which has now been resolved.

    So anyway, I sent them an email on Wednesday saying the problem still hadn’t gone away, explaining what the symptoms were, and saying nothing has changed on my system (I was pretending to be Mum) since it was working fine, so I don’t believe it can be the settings.

    A while later they replied with…. yes, a copy-pasted set of instructions about checking your settings, and a couple of questions tacked on the end asking if I can send email via their webmail (I can) and if I’m connecting to the internet using them as the ISP (I am). So I sigh, and reply.

    Then yesterday someone else replied again with a different-but-not-that-different set of instructions on checking settings, and some more questions, including “can you send email from our webmail” and “are you using Orange as your ISP”. YES YOU BLOODY IDIOTS, do you not even bother to read the emails sent to you?? So I’ve sent them quite a rude reply back saying I don’t appreciate being asked the same question over and over again, and can they actually read my email this time and do something about it. And now it’s all gone quiet for the last 24 hours. Maybe I’ve offended them…

    Anyway, Kristian Digby has just come on the telly so I’m off to drool over him now. He’s got tight jeans on today, he always wears nice clothes. Oh, and my cherry spray has sort of helped but not as much as I was hoping when I read that it contains the grand-sounding “benzocaine”. I was hoping that would be a novocaine-strength product, but apparently it isn’t.